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issue 43 - April/May 2018
CURVE magazine cover April/May 2018
Architecture  Focus  

DREAMS OF THE FUTURE

Ancient Bridges Inspire Contemporary Design

Located by the Yunlong Lake in Xuzhou, occupying over a million square meters, the Vanke Future Town is a grand community set in a stunning environment. The center of the project is the community center with screening rooms, separate meeting rooms and service rooms in an open floor plan. The abundant glazing of the facade gives views out to the city, reducing the architectural volume as it connects with the external space and enhancing its public nature.

The region is famed for its ancient timber arch bridges, including Beijian Bridge, Xidong Bridge and Xuezhai Bridge; the design team studied these traditional bridges and hand modeled their long span structure of short timbers as a tribute to the traditional Chinese craftsmanship, in order to apply its structural beauty to this fantastic project.

The bridge structure is introduced into the large scale exhibition space, as an expressive element to be viewed from below, and is reflected in the water patio in front of the main space. The original bridge structure was replaced by steel tubes, which now support the timbers by weaving in where they interlock together, creating a system of continuous triangles and inverted triangles, which slopes rather gently in comparison to the original.

The overall design gives a visual sensation of floating, the suspended timber pieces appear to be levitating in the air, making a striking contrast with the light roof above.

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